While countries in the west move towards enlightenment, Pakistan is moving towards darkness. The country suffering at the hands of corrupt politicians and terrorism has much graver problems and one of them is load shedding. It is the 21st century and there is no electricity in Pakistan! People are crying their hearts out in front of the government to provide them with the basic necessity of electricity but the government seems to have no clue about how to solve this problem.
Energy shortage is the result of the power demand and supply gap. So what causes this gap to exist is the main question. There are various reasons because of which Pakistan could not create more electricity which include the rising fuel prices, rising burden of circular debts, lack of availability of inexpensive fuel, no new power projects being started, poor electricity production and distribution methods, power theft and nonpayment of electricity bills.
The issue of circular debts is not something new when it comes to energy crisis. When the circular debts reach their peak the government intercepts by increasing the subsidy given to the power companies. However this does not provide a permanent solution to the problem because the subsidies given are not sufficient to pull the power supply companies out of difficulty. At present only Rs3/kilowatt subsidy is given where as 20-30% of electricity is being stolen and the electricity bills of government offices remain due for months. This burden is then passed on to the end consumers in terms of higher prices or excessive amounts of load shedding.
The problem of energy theft is something which needs to be addressed at the governmental level. It signifies the inefficient law and order situation of the country as the government knowing who the thieves are still does nothing to catch them. If the government takes strict action against those who steal electricity then half the problem of power shortages would be solved. There are various suggestions from across the broad to make power theft a non bailable offence; however nothing has been done in regard to such suggestions.
Rising fuel costs in the production of electricity are also a major source of concern. Natural gas and imported oil are the two major components of power production. While imported oil was always expensive for power producers, the shortage of natural gas has added further to their miseries. Natural gas always seemed to be in abundance in the country however in recent times the country has surprisingly faced natural gas shortages too. So the only way out for Pakistan is to find other sources of energy generation. Coal in the country is in abundance but the lack of expertise in the country does not allow it to be used in the right direction.
As Pakistan faces several problems, the problem of load shedding too should be given top priority by the government officials. It's time the politicians start acting in order to solve the general problems of the people of Pakistan rather than fighting for getting into power and doing nothing